Mainstreaming Adaptation within Integrated Water Resources 47 Management (IWRM) in Small Island Developing States (SIDS) A Case Study of the Nadi River Basin, Fiji Islands
Fiji and many of the Pacific Island Countries are likely to experience increases in the frequency and height of storm surges as well as other extreme events due to current and projected climate change risks and climate variability. The Nadi River Basin, located in the western division of Fiji suffers from regular flooding, causing serious social, economic and environmental damages in the lower floodplain and coastal area, including the river estuary.The increased frequency of floods over the last few decades, combined with an increasing population pressure and unsustainable urban development has increased the vulnerability of the basin to projected climate change impacts. To adapt successfully to increased flood and water induced changes it is essential for Nadi Basin communities and individual villages to better manage water resources. Management reforms require both changes in catchment land use practices, institutional governance, infrastructure development and the need to mainstream risk management within Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM). Implementation of a combination of these measures provides a holistic approach to water management and long term adaptation. This paper provides summary perspectives on water-based adaptation through IWRM practices that provides options to address climate change in small island developing states (SIDS) such as Fiji.